Love Is the New Sexy
By Janel Breitenstein
I remember riding in a friend’s minivan, both of us young moms with kids typically welded to our yoga pants.
Her husband was gone for the weekend. During our foray from Wet Wipes Land, she chatted via phone with him. I don’t remember much about what was said, except that she called him “Love.” And there was some cooing involved.
My husband is a lot of things, but definitely not the cooing type. When on business trips, he’s not really the let’s-check-in-frequently type. He’s never forgotten my birthday, but he’s also not the leave-a-trail-of-rose-petals type. Yet romance, as fantastic as it is for keeping the fire burning—and as an indicator of a lot of things—may not always be an indicator of your spouse’s success as a spouse.
There is something deeply good, even awe-inspiring and downright appealing, about a spouse who is simply faithful. He or she might just love well, without the rose petals and bubble baths.
My husband hasn’t ever busted out a bottle of champagne or (errantly) dubbed me the most beautiful woman in the world. But he does offer a quiet, steady leadership with his life. And considering Jesus was quite literally born in a barn, I would say God has a flare for sidling the heroic up alongside the mundane.
A lot of movies, fantasies, love songs, and books might lead us to think a super-great spouse would always be cooking up ways to make things sizzle, offering to rub our feet, or grab a favorite drink from the coffee shop.
Maybe your spouse forgets the love note, but wrestles with the kids, fixes dinner, pays the bills, or folds laundry.
Does your spouse love you and Jesus and your kids? Work diligently?
You might have a great one.
Affection and romance are gifts. Needed desperately at times, yes, but still leaving us beholden to someone else.
Ultimately, even with romance, my expectations need to be reasonable, open-handed, gracious—rather than self-centered.
Here’s to spouses who spend their days doing what isn’t decidedly sexy or romantic, but is tangible, actionable love for God and people.
The good stuff: Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)
Action points: Get honest with God about desires that may have grown out of proportion and into unagreed upon expectations. Take a minute to express gratitude to God and your spouse for the ways they love you faithfully.
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